Brexit

The majority of UK voters opted to leave the EU in the referendum on 23 June 2016. The High Court has now ruled that the Government cannot trigger Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union without a vote by Parliament in favour of doing so. Article 50 provides that a member state must give notice to the European Council of its intention to withdraw from the EU. The Government's appeal to the Supreme Court will be heard by all 11 Justices and has been set for four days from 5 December 2016. Judgment is expected in the new year.

The exact terms of the UK's withdrawal from the EU and timescales have not yet been determined, and there is further uncertainty following the High Court's decision.

Prime Minister Theresa May indicated, before the judgment of the High Court, that Article 50 will be triggered by the end of March 2017, which means that the UK would be on course to leave the EU during 2019. Under Article 50, once the UK has given notice of its intention to withdraw, a period of up to two years will follow in which the arrangements for the UK's withdrawal and the framework for its future relationship with the EU will be negotiated. The Government has also said that it plans to repeal the European Communities Act 1972 and that EU law will be transposed into domestic law, wherever practical, on exit day. Most EU Directives are already implemented in the UK by regulations or Acts of Parliament and it will be for Parliament to decide whether to retain, amend or repeal domestic legislation.

It is not yet known what rules on immigration and free movement of people will be in place after the UK's exit. However, the Government has stated that it expects that the legal status of EU nationals living in the UK, and that of UK nationals in EU member states, will be properly protected.

We will continue to provide guidance as the situation develops.

Available on demand

Our Brexit - what now for HR? webinar on what Brexit means for UK employment law and the steps you can take to prepare for the HR aspects of running a business outside the EU.

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Audio and video

  • Webinar: Managing international assignments in an uncertain world
  • Webinar: Brexit - what now for HR? In this webinar, Darren Newman and Annabel Mace discuss what Brexit means for UK employment law, the impact of the leave vote on the immigration status of non-UK EU nationals living and working in the UK and what you can do now to prepare for the UK's exit from the EU.
  • Podcast 1: Potential employment law implications of a Brexit In the first of our special podcasts recorded before the referendum, Nicky Stibbs explains how EU employment law is incorporated into UK employment law, including what role is currently played by the European Court of Justice. Nicky also looks at the areas of UK employment law that might be in the firing line.
  • Podcast 2: The possible impact of a Brexit In the second of our special podcasts recorded before the referendum, Darren Newman discusses possible employment law implications of a majority vote in favour of leaving the EU, including how to manage concerns of EU employees who are worried about job security.

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